HC Deb 13 July 1992 vol 211 cc802-3
27. Dr. Moonie

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will enable British representatives to put forward specific expenditure proposals for the new elements of the proposed global climate observation system to the World Meteorological Organisation meeting next year; and whether they will be met by additions to the science budget.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. William Waldegrave)

The joint scientific and technical committee for the global climate observing system has been charged by its international parent bodies with making specific costed proposals. We, like other Government Departments, look forward to considering those detailed proposals and discussing them at the intergovernmental co-ordinating committee planned for next spring.

Dr. Moonie

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that reply. Will he confirm that he recognises the importance of such international collaboration projects, the need for a commitment forward planning where more than one Government is involved and the need for the money to be found outwith his existing budget?

Mr. Waldegrave

Before answering the hon. Gentleman, I wish to say how unfamiliar it is during questions on science to face an Opposition without the hon. Member for Motherwell, South (Dr. Bray), who has made a great contribution to these matters.

We recognise the importance of the issues. The Meteorological Office is a major contributor on world climate issues. Its former director, Sir John Houghton, is the director of the technical group. On the question of money, we shall have to wait until we know what is requested before we can say how we shall finance the proposal.